A burglar who broke into the home of a pensioner couple in the run-up to Christmas stole watches, documents, wallets, and even unopened seasonal cards.
Jeremy Andrew Pegler had not been out of prison for very long following a previous sentence for burglary when he struck in the dead of night.
His barrister told Swansea Crown Court the defendant was “disappointed” in himself for having committed the crime as he had completed a victim empathy and awareness course while in jail.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said Pegler entered his victims’ house in Llanelli in early hours of December 10 last year, making an “untidy search” of the property and stealing keys, wallets, bank cards, two wrist watches, a small quantity of cash, and a number of unopened Christmas cards.
The victims only became aware they had been burgled when a neighbour in Llys y Drindod knocked on their door to say he had seen lights on. The court heard that when they checked their home they found possessions strewn around the rooms and items missing.
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Word of what had happened quickly spread and a neighbour found he had caught an image of the possible intruder on his doorbell CCTV system. From that image a relative of the victim identified the 44-year-old defendant.
Mr Jones said later that day the relative found Pegler in Station Road in Llanelli. The defendant became “aggressive” when challenged and was “taken to the floor” before subsequently going to his partner’s address and retrieving the stolen watches.
The court heard the defendant was arrested the following day and claimed he had been assaulted by the victims’ relative and another man.
Pegler, of Great Western Crescent, Llanelli, admitted burglary. He has 62 previous convictions for 191 offences starting with a conviction for robbery when he was a teenager and including eight house burglaries, 88 thefts and kindred matters, supplying heroin, and motoring offences. In September 2018 he was sentenced to 52 months for burglary at Swansea Crown Court and was out of prison on licence for those matters when he broke into the couple’s Llanelli home.
James Hartson, for Pegler, said his client was an “unreformed heroin addict” who had been released from his sentence at HMP Berwyn during the lockdown.
He said the defendant was “disappointed in himself” as he had completed the Sycamore course while in prison – a recognised victim awareness and empathy programme – and the barrister said Pegler maintained he had not know the property he entered was home to pensioners.
Pegler was jailed for four and a half years.